July 14, 2024

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Quotes & Transcript

Mendelssohn with Ryan Moore up wins the Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) at Del Mar on Friday, November 3, 2017 (c) Lauren J. Pomeroy/Horsephotos.com

Friday, November 3, 2017

Winning trainer Aidan O’Brien (Mendelssohn)

“He’s progressed with every race. We were afraid to change him up, so we kept him on the grass. He’s stepped up every time. This is marvelous. It’s been a big team effort this year.”

Winning jockey Ryan Moore (Mendelssohn)

“We made the best of the draw in number one. He ran a good race at Newmarket and he quickened well today.”

Second-place trainer H. Graham Motion (Untamed Domain)

“He ran awesome. But, it’s awfully tough to come in second in these races. It’s better than seventh I guess. I’m happy to be second, but you only have one shot at these races. He didn’t get sharp away from there, but he never has been. He had to come very wide, but he ran great.”

Second-place jockey Jose Ortiz (Untamed Domain)

“He’s always kind of slow out of the gate and he was today again. I saw, on the inside going into the backside, lots of guys were checking. A lot of people were in trouble and clipping heels. Then I saw (Kent) Desormeaux sitting chilly on the outside. I knew we were going to be a little wide, but I’m glad I had a clear run to get second.”

Third-place trainer Chad Brown (Voting Control)

“He had a really good trip, He was just third best. I’m real proud of the horse. I thought he ran big.”

Third-place jockey Javier Castellano (Voting Control)

“I had a good trip. I followed (Mendelssohn) every step of the way. When I got through in the stretch it took him time to get some momentum. I don’t think he’s a mile horse. I think he’s more of a mile and a sixteenth, mile and an eighth type of horse.”

Jockey Flavien Prat (Sands of Mali, 9th)

“He ran very well, gave me a kick when I asked him, but just got tired at the end.”

Jockey Frankie Dettori (James Garfield, 10th)

“It was a very rough race. He was knocked about all over the place for four furlongs. He had no chance.”

Friday, November 3, 2017

Michael Tabor
Tom Magnier
Aidan O’Brien
Derrick Smith
Ryan L. Moore

THE MODERATOR: The winner of the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile Turf is Mendelssohn, and we’re pleased now to be joined by the winning jockey, Ryan Moore, as well as, from left to right, Tom Magnier, Michael Tabor, and Derrick Smith. Congratulations to you all, and thanks for joining us. Now winning trainer Aidan O’Brien as well. This is his fourth win in the Juvenile Turf, and Ryan’s fourth win in this race as well.

So, Ryan, let’s start with you, if you could take us through your ride.

RYAN L. MOORE: Yeah, look, it went very smooth. He’s still learning, but he got away well. He traveled very kindly the whole race. He always felt like he was going the best, and he was able to ease his way out. And to be fair, he won, and I feel he still had plenty to give. When he hit the front, he wasn’t quite sure how to get down and gallop yet. So I think there’s more to come from him. He’s a big, very raw horse still, and I think he will improve with racing and with experience. Today went very well for him.

Q. Aidan, your initial impressions of this race?

AIDAN O’BRIEN: Yeah, we were delighted. We always talk a lot of him. His first run he was very green. His second run Ryan rode him, and he was very green again. We were a little bit worried to how green he was. Then he went to down cast center, and the same thing, very green. So when he came back, we decided to put a pair of blinkers on him to see if he could get rid of that greenness, and we did. And in his work, he grew another leg. But we weren’t sure about his work until we went to the Dewhurst, and obviously we saw the same result. He was second to one of our own horses as well, which was a massive step up again.

He’s a late foal, so physically he’s very big and strong, and every week he’s getting better. We knew that he was kind of a really American dirt pedigree horse. But we felt we didn’t want to stop the progression, that’s why we left him on the grass rather than putting dirt in on top when he wasn’t ready for it. We had it in our head that if everything went well today, he could be a horse we could train for the Kentucky Derby. Especially now when we have the Kentucky Derby trials at home.

So hopefully he’s an exciting horse. Ryan gave him a good ride. He had a great position on him, traveled very strong, and quick and very well. So I know we’re delighted. Dean, who rides him every day, does a great job with him. And Hasmit (phonetic) and Alex who is in charge of his yard. So I’m delighted really.

Q. Would one of you discuss what it means to the whole operation that he’s actually by Scat Daddy who you lost a little too soon, but now you have a Breeder’s Cup win?

MICHAEL TABOR: I think it goes without saying we’ve been looking for the next Scat Daddy, because in his short life, he was a great stallion, and hopefully this fellow will do the trick. I think one or two people quibbled about his yearling price, which was $3 million, but I don’t think they’re quibbling now. So that in itself is satisfaction. So hopefully he’ll be the next Scat Daddy, but who knows.

Q. When you talk about him being green, Aidan, tell me about what you did to help get him going?

MICHAEL TABOR: Don’t tell him!

AIDAN O’BRIEN: Yeah, yeah. No, I suppose he was babyish, really. When Ryan went on him at the second at the corner he went to the front, and he drifted out to the front, out to the left, and Ryan was literally, he said to us, he just needed something to keep him a little bit focused rather than maybe get in the habit of doing that. But he ran the second a third time, and he didn’t do it, but he was still disappointing. He touched the stalls coming out the third time, and Ryan felt that frightened him. But when we did put the blinkers on him, he just totally changed his focus completely. And like, obviously, his work was excellent. But obviously it was a group work, but we weren’t sure about the work until he ran in the juveniles, and he was second to our own horse, which we felt was a very good horse. So we were delighted then.

But we always felt that he has that pace that could be a dirt horse, and obviously he’s a pure, American dirt pedigree, so he’s exciting hopefully.

Q. One question in that regard, do you think you would do all your preparation at home, not go to Dubai necessarily with him? Just if you’re pointed for the Derby, give him a trial in all weather?

AIDAN O’BRIEN: Obviously, the lads will think about what they want to do. But he’ll have a little break now. We have trials, I think we have trials in Ireland, England, France and Dubai this year, so obviously we wouldn’t have to come until the Kentucky Derby, and try to give him an easier time as we got up to it maybe. That’s what we’ll maybe think about anyway.

Q. This is the 27th Group 1 win of the year.

MICHAEL TABOR: What about that? 27?


Q. It’s a remarkable achievement, a world record that keeps getting further and further ahead. We all know Aidan and Ryan are very modest people, but what does this achievement mean?

MICHAEL TABOR: We’re not so modest, is that what you’re saying (laughing)?

Q. Obviously, you’ve been through this entire year, and you’ve seen remarkable achievement that Aidan, Ryan and the rest of the team at Ballydoyle have achieved. Can you talk about what they’ve done, what they bring to the table, and what this campaign has meant for you?

MICHAEL TABOR: I think the results speak for themselves, really, when you say what they’ve done. I mean, every year Aidan seems to be as consistent as one can be to roll out the Group 1 winners, and that’s obviously what with we aim for. And the whole operation is geared to have Group 1 winners to enable the horses to go to start and keep the show on the road. Really, that’s what it’s all about.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports